A few years ago, when working on a series on the ravages of methamphetamine on the community, I met several people who made an impact on my life. Some were people who had battled addiction and triumphed over it, but many were unsung heroes in the community who worked quietly behind the scenes to help them overcome those addictions.
Wayne Sosebee was one of those people.
He is the program director of Reformer’s Unanimous operating out of Victory Baptist Church in Loganville. When I first met Wayne, it was because he was credited with being one of the main reasons some people in the community had managed to kick a serious drug habit.
Wayne contacted me recently to get the word out about a new project he is working on – a home wherein those battling a drug addiction can find refuge while they attempt to overcome the addiction. He told me it’s almost imperative for those battling a serious addiction to completely remove themselves from their old lives if they want to be successful. Wayne wants to be able to provide that opportunity for those who are not in a position to do so on their own.
In order to achieve this, he’s already taken the first step by forming a new ministry, the Scarlet Thread Ministry. Always one to stay behind the scenes, Wayne was quick to tell me about those in the community who’ve stepped up to serve on the board as well as those who’ve helped provide the resources to get the ministry off the ground.
One of the first steps is a thrift shop to help raise funds for the home. With the help of many in the community, that thrift shop is already a reality, the hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 am till 5 pm. The shop is located on the corner of Baker Carter Road and Highway 81 South in Loganville. At the present time the store has two employees and is also manned by volunteers who sacrifice their time.
In order to help make this home a reality, members of the Scarlet Thread Ministry are asking anyone who can to support the thrift shop by purchasing from it, donating to it, or volunteering to help work in it if they have the time to spare.
Drug addiction is something that touches the lives of absolutely everyone. When doing the series, I learned that more than 75 percent of Georgia’s prison population is drug-related and the re-offender rate is high. Even if you or someone in your family isn’t the person battling an addiction or dealing with the devastation of a family member’s addiction, just by being a resident you are at risk of becoming a crime victim as a result. The recent robbery at Walgreens is a perfect example of how an addiction can impact a person as well as the community. The alleged robber was willing to risk a felony armed robbery conviction for a few bottles of prescription drugs at the same time putting members of the community at risk.
With the crime and incarceration rate comes policing, court, incarceration, probation and rehabilitation costs. Drug-related crime includes possession, dealing and trafficking. But it also includes the spinoff crimes such as shoplifting, theft, burglary, forgery, prostitution, domestic violence and murder. With these crimes comes the expense to stores, homeowners, insurance companies and businesses. You also have social services and charities helping the families of felons, murder victims and families kept in poverty because of drug abuse or incarceration.
Most of those expenses are passed onto us – in extra costs at the stores, insurance, loss of productivity, taxes and donations.
No matter how you look at it, we all have a stake in assisting those who are prepared to do the heavy lifting when it comes to helping addicts find a more productive lifestyle.
For more information about the Reformer’s Unanimous Program, you can contact Wayne Sosebee at:
678-294-4769 or [email protected]